The path to our destination is not always a straight one. We go down the wrong road, we get lost, we turn back. Maybe it doesn’t matter which road we embark on. Maybe what matters is that we embark.Barbara Hall
Title: Just Saying
Author: Sophie Ranald
Alice is a trainee lawyer at Billings Pitt Furzedown. Her life is on track with an upcoming permanent job offer at Billings and having found love with Joe. Life takes a few turns, and Alice ends up losing on the job offer and working at a pub. Enters Zoe. Zoe and Joe briefly dated years ago, and even though Joe says she is just a friend, Alice can’t help noticing the shift in their behavior towards each other.
Out of the blue, Zoe needs a place to stay, and Joe believes it is a great idea to invite her to be their roommate. Alice tries not to feel threatened, but it is difficult to feel otherwise as Zoe cooks fabulous home-cooked meals and glides around the house with her glossy mane of hair.
The book is a fun ride, and I enjoyed Alice’s journey. As a reader, I especially liked the author’s exploration of Alice’s professional choices. Ranald makes you believe that you are on a journey with the protagonist, and discover things as the story progresses. Alice’s character is well-developed, and the author has combined multiple aspects, making it relatable. Alice’s jealousy when Zoe moves in, her confusion regarding her career choices, and her struggle to discover herself are all relatable and humanizes the character.
The plot is enticing, and the author manages to keep the reader engaged. Usually, in the Romance genre, the reader can anticipate the ending, but Ranald manages to keep the reader guessing. All the characters in the book are engaging and add flavor to the book. They represent a tight-knit community and add value to the story-line. The book cover is fabulous and has the use of vibrant colors and catchy design.
I felt the character of Joe was severely underdeveloped. There was no real conversation between the protagonist and Joe that could showcase the bond they share. As a reader of romance, I want to root for the hero, but I did not feel that way for Joe. We never get an opportunity to know and understand Joe, and that thoroughly disappointed me.
I give the book 3.5/5. I strongly believe that Joe’s character is pivotal in the storyline and shouldn’t have been ignored. Hence, the 3.5 stars. For readers who connect with books written by Sophie Kinsella, you will like this book.
I received an advanced copy of this book from Net Galley and the publisher in return for an honest review.